By Hanah Tabios and Noreen Jazul
While some are taking advantage of the national government’s cash aid program for COVID-19, 35 residents of Bakun town in Benguet province voluntarily waived their slots to give way other families who were more in need of financial assistance.
The Bakun Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (Bakun-MDRRMC) said the residents were initially part of the 447 households out of 1,051 in Barangay Gambang, who were targeted as potential beneficiaries of the social amelioration program (SAP).
Contrary to what others are doing, the residents did not sign any forms. Most of those who waived their slots were elderlies and some were part of the town’s low-income families.
However, after learning that they do not meet the qualifications set by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the 25 residents “honestly waived” their slots so that other qualified families can be given financial assistance.
“This act of kindness shows that we i-Bakun unite as one to survive this kind of pandemic,” the Bakun MDRRMC said.
The Bakun MDRRMC posted photos of the “honest” residents on its Facebook page.
The photos showed that some of the residents who waived their slots were senior citizens.
Many netizens also praised the residents of Bakun.
“How blessed our municipality by having honest people like you… Keep up Bakun,” one netizen said.
“Bakun is so proud of you. Indeed you make those who receive your share grateful. God definitely bless u [sic] more!” another said.
Under the “Bayanihan to Heal as One” Act, the cash aid program will provide 18 million poor families a monthly allowance of between ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 for up to two months. But residents from other provinces have been complaining about the irregularities in choosing the right beneficiaries.
Some said families of barangay officials were being prioritized more than the qualified recipients.
Those who wish to send their complaints and other concerns related to SAP may call the DSWD-Central Office through these numbers: 02-8-951-2804, local number 8892.